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Heartbeat City

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Editors’ Notes

The Cars were already part of the pop-cultural fabric when they released this album in 1984. But this one boosted their status from ratty new wave rockers to cosmopolitan rock stars; their songwriting, playing, and arranging had evolved to a place that was as near-perfect as you could get for pop music then. The record contained no less than five American Top 40 singles (two went Top 10), videos directed by Timothy Hutton (“Drive”) and Andy Warhol (“Hello Again,” a tune that made techno-pop radio-friendly), and production by innovative man of the hour Robert “Mutt” Lange (AC/DC, Def Leppard, Shania Twain). The centerpiece here is “Drive,” a thing of absolute beauty featuring a lulling gentle drone, gorgeous melancholy chords, and a breathy vocal by bassist Benjamin Orr (who also sang the band’s early signature hit “Just What I Needed”). It’s an open-ended, non-gender-specific song of denial and regret. Both “Magic” and “You Might Think” make power chords dancefloor-ready, and the closing title song has a hypnotic, even danceable, sadness all its own. The whole album grooves effortlessly from bottom to top.

Customer Reviews

Heartbeat City

What an incredible album!!! This is pure 80's. My aunt introduced me to this album back in 1984 when I was ten years old, and I'm so grateful she did. From the opening track "Hello Again" to the awesome ending of "Heartbeat City", this is one of the best albums of the 1980's. Even my son who is five years old, loves the song "Heartbeat City." He knows a good song when he hears one. Take the time to listen to this album; believe me, you will not be disappointed!

It's Magic

It seems The Cars have used their "magic" to get me to listen to this fantastic album, when I was old enough to enjoy music. My dad had it on vinyl (and he still does), and then he put it on tape as a B-Side for Huey Lewis's Sports album to play in the car, or as of 1987, our old Aerostar minivan. More recently, my father permitted me to take it off of vinyl and put it on my computer, and then later, my iPod touch. I have never stopped listening to it ever since. To me, there is more enjoyment on this album than just Hello Again, Magic, Drive, and You Might Think, which are all great songs, don't get me wrong.


Halleluiah!!!! FINALLY! For too long I-tunes had this as a partial album... This is by far one of the single greatest '80's album to have been produced by an American band. To get an understanding of what New Wave was all about, to comprehend the amazing fusion of cutting edge electronic media, quirky punk rhythms, and generous hints of good ole' Rock n' Roll, HEARTBEAT CITY is the best place to start. This album produced more hits for The Cars than any of their other creations, and is full of great tunes that never got radio play but are anything but filler ("It's Not the Night," "Looking for Love," and the incredible "I Refuse.") Do yourself, your friends, your family, and even your neighbors a big favor and buy this album. You will not be disappointed.


Formed: 1976 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '00s, '10s

Blondie may have had a string of number one hits and Talking Heads may have won the hearts of the critics, but the Cars were the most successful American new wave band to emerge in the late '70s. With its sleek, mechanical pop/rock, the band racked up a string of platinum albums and Top 40 singles that made it one of the most popular American rock & roll bands of the late '70s and early '80s. While they were more commercially oriented than their New York peers, the Cars were nevertheless inspired...
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